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Critique about the reading - Essay Example

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Chapter two, by comparison to the previous one, uses a lot of technical terms and language, appears witty overall, but consistently manages to miss the mark on effectively communicating what it really wants to say by losing its target audience or going over their heads with…
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15 October Critique on Chapter Two about Media and Human Systems Chapter two, by comparison to the previous one, uses a lot of technical terms and language, appears witty overall, but consistently manages to miss the mark on effectively communicating what it really wants to say by losing its target audience or going over their heads with superfluous technicalities. This critique will discuss four points -- Assessment, Reaction, Changes, and Compatibility (with the previous chapter).
Assessment
Chapter two does not stand alone very well as an appropriate work in the field of media. Mechanically it simply looks like it has not been proofread. All the examples are too numerous to name in this critique, but one occurs right on page two. It goes, “In communication we have a tendency to focus on the information (in media and in the environment) and the sensory systems that gather it abstractly. That is removed from time and space.” The second sentence does not make a very good independent clause. So that the reader does not have to stop and figure this statement out it can simply read, “...environment), and the sensory systems that gather it abstractly and are removed from time and space. Spell checker could fix a lot of other errors.
It is bogged down by several other problems, but its biggest issue can be summed up in a few words: It does not discuss how the points it makes relate to media. This is a huge problem because the reader consumes about two dozen pages of knowledge without learning how statements, largely based in science, tie into media. For example, in the beginning on page 3 in Perceptual Systems the author claims that the reader does not need to get bogged down by overly scientific examples. However, it goes on to break this promise by page four when it delves into visual perception and talks about neurons and ventral and dorsal pathways to the brain. As this scientific jargon flows freely it becomes quite evident to the reader that all these sentences could be summed up as: Our eyes perceive the world around us and make us aware of our world by helping us identify what things are, and where they are. Once it gets whittled down to this simplistic statement the truth becomes obvious -- this is information everyone already knows. Why talk about it? This is still relatively close to the beginning of chapter two, and it starts right here by never tying any of this obvious information into a media related point.
Throughout chapter two the writing is also overly wordy, even to the point of seeming geeky at times; as if the writer reveled in knowing the knowledge and simply did not care if anyone else could understand, or would care, what was written. For example, “Current neuroscience considers it likely that each bit of information is represented by a complex pattern of neuronal firing. Bits of information which often occur together or are related fire their neurons simultaneously which wires them together. Later when one of them fires, that slightly activates related information making it easier to retrieve.” This is an example of impressive wording coupled with pointless exposition. For starters, a lot of people do not understand what that means. Secondly, all it means is: we remember what we see better as it becomes more familiar. This chapter is rife with examples like this where ideas are presented and they have no meaningful examples that make them any clearer, or validate why they should even exist as a topic of discussion at all.
Reaction
To put it bluntly this chapter does not share any new ideas. It does, however, share new vocabulary like, “Appetitive” and “Aversive systems.” It actually does a pretty good job of laying down the definitions for terms such as this, but it fails to back them up with good examples. Rather, it chooses to expound on the definitions and give flimsy examples that back up the verbose writing rather than clarifying beyond a doubt that the words are clearly understood. In essence, most of this chapter could consist of new terms, their definitions, concrete examples, and clarifications on how it pertains to media. Instead it consists of terms, wordy definitions, occasional examples (some relevant and some hopelessly lost), and rarely a reminder of how any of this involves media. For example, the above example on systems is expounded upon for three pages including a graph. To clarify this, an Appetitive system involves things animals want (appetite). An Aversive system involves things animals do not want (avoidance). Three pages beyond this simple definition it has discussed food consumption in several ways, crossing the street, getting electrocuted, seeing a snake, et cetera, ad nauseam. The graph repeats the same points. Finally it does tie back into media in the next section with even more examples, but the points made there have already been made and could have easily been understood if they had simply tied directly into media from the start. To answer the question, how does any of this tie in with what has been learned? It does not tie into anything learned for most people. Most of it is obvious information everyone knows. The only new information presented, in most cases, are new terms which only require their definitions for clarity.
Changes
All said and done chapter two could have been summed up in one sentence: We perceive sights and sounds which our brains process into images we understand, and we react accordingly both consciously and subconsciously (automatically). The remaining points could have been written in two or three pages containing the new terms presented and their definitions followed by examples, avoiding needless scientific information, and following it all up with how it applies to different types of media and their strategies for displaying messages to the public.
Compatibility
The main issue from the previous chapter to chapter two was that it stopped talking for pages about how it all relates to media. Sadly if the author went back and repaired this but kept the overly wordy, scientific jargon the chapter would get even more unbearable. It badly needs to be cut down until it simply contains new terms with definitions, concrete examples, and media correlations. Every new example should remind the reader what it has to do with media, period. If it did that it would be easier to read and align much better with what the previous chapter introduces.
Conclusion
In summary chapter one lays out some intriguing ideas and manages to tie them into how they affect media. However, chapter two goes into tedious detail about the science behind these ideas and does not emphasize the new terms presented or their definitions properly. On the heels of this it lacks concrete examples for many terms and rarely ties into media. Lastly, it contains many grammatical and spelling errors which only serve to bog the reader down while trying to understand. Read More
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